Breathe Easy
Our Week Without Blue Apron

If You Can't Draw a Crowd Put Coke on a Wall

Remember that time we painted a chalkboard wall in our kitchen? Remember how nice it looked at first?


Yeah, me neither.

From top to bottom:

1) Our grown-up behavior chart, which was abandoned (on a Wednesday, apparently) a good six months ago.

2) The ghostly remains of an Ike/Ezra behavior chart, which only tracked one behavior, which was Get Out Of Bed In The Morning And Put Clothes On Without Mom Losing Her Shit At You. There are zero stars awarded to either, so Ezra helpfully wrote "Ty" a couple times to keep us up-to-date on who was "winning."

3) A very pretty flower that I think our babysitter drew. No one in this household has those skillz.

4) I don't know who drew all those boobs around the light switch. Wasn't me.

5) Assorted scribbles and doodles. Ike says they are "battle machines." Ezra drew a "calendar" for Ike so he could assign one of the colored behavior codes they use in kindergarten. From the looks of all the pink and yellow, Ike is not having a good month. 

Here's the thing: Behavior charts work really, really well for my kids. Always have. We target a small handful of specific "issues" and break them out into a set of daily goals. Some are easy, some are more challenging, some aren't a problem for one kid but a big struggle for another. Get all your stars, get all your privileges like screen time or TV. 

So you'd think we'd stick with behavior charts, right? 

Nah. We're terrible! We're honestly just terrible. We start strong. We rotate the goals. We stay on top of the rewards and consequences. And then someone draws on the chart and I try to re-draw it and realize that the chalkboard wall is a damn mess and I can't get it clean anymore and I think maybe it needs another coat of paint before I can re-draw anything? Yeah, like that's happening. I'm going to...walk over here, instead. Maybe eat some chips.

I used to be able to get the wall clean using Endust and a paper towel, but over time the chalk build-up settled into the wall texture and would. Not. Budge. I could not get the wall remotely clean and non-dusty looking. 


Yeah, not really the look we were going for originally...

Anyway! (Holy shit! Stop talking so much!) Point is, I went back to the Googles this week in search of some other solution. And I found it, and man, is it weird. 

I washed the chalkboard wall with a sponge and a can of coke.


Despite reading multiple tutorials by people using Coke on their own chalkboard walls I kept kinda wondering if I was being punked, SEO style. Like HA HA JUST KIDDING OMG YOU ACTUALLY PUT COKE ON YOUR WALL YOU DUMBASS. 

But it worked! It totally effing worked.


It's still kind of wet in that picture, because I couldn't wait to text it to a million people because BEHOLD WHAT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED TODAY UNDEREMPLOYMENT IS THE SHIT, but I assure you it is not even remotely sticky.

(Which is the first question Jason asked, like, you put WHAT on our wall? Amy, have you fallen down? Are you having some kind of Yellow Wallpaper breakdown? Do I need to come home?)


I'm fine. Just laying down the law, chalkboard wall style. 


Of course, this is what the wall looks like as of this morning. Ike is...not super on-board with the whole star thing yet, and is expressing his disdain through art. Angry, angry art with lots of battle machines and explosions.

Tl;dr I put Coke on my wall because the Internet told me to. It got it very clean and so far it's not covered in fruit flies losing their minds over the sweet, sticky remnants of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Great work, Internet!



LOVE the Ben reference!!


I.. um.. do not even have children. But I now want a chalkboard wall.


God, I wish I knew that when we had our chalkboard wall! I tried vinegar, I tried soap, NOTHING worked. Also, apparently you're not supposed to use sidewalk chalk on chalkboards and that contributed to the problem. WHO KNEW? Instead we just knocked down the wall! (we knocked it down to change our staircase into a fancy pantsy open staircase, but I like how dramatic it seems.)


It is totally gobsmacking that that works. Whoa.

Sue W.

I think the child who walked in on the mom and dad extracurricular activities the other night is who drew the boobs around the light switch!
Coke:It Fixes Every Thang!


But what is with all the "M" letters on the board? None of their names start with M so why that letter? Or is it really a bird or something artistic? Inquiring minds want to know these things!


I would totally fail that chart. Totally and completely.


Love the Coke trick! It is so pretty now! You could try a line of painters tape and encourage Ike to color below the line. That's how I divvy up my whiteboard space in my classroom. I'm a little OCD about it and may or may not use a meter stick to make sure it is straight. :)


I have the "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" jingle in my head since the Mad Men finale on Sunday. It was gone before I read this post, but now it's baaaack! :)


Coke removes rust.


That's awesome! And I love that you referenced The Yellow Wallpaper.:)


okay, but like, how does the no whining work? like, do you whine once and you don't get a star? do you give warnings?

also, to the other commentator: M is for Mommy!!


Hahahah - love that between the first and second pic, "No Whining" was added.


So much good stuff here -- SEO humor, your stories in general, and a Yellow Wallpaper reference, which made me geek out English-major-style in a big way. :D


@Victoria You noticed! Yeah. No whining was a late addition scribbled in pissed-off haste because GAHHHH STOP WHINING.

@Kate We give warnings for whining. Stars are typically withheld for the most egregious examples (like, borderline tantrum), or if the warnings are repeatedly ignored. But thry can earn as many "Help Mom/Dad" stars as they want for doing extra chores/cleaning/generally being a productive member of the household to make up for lost stars in other areas.


Nope…painted over ours after a few years…and hung a picture… love it so much more now.


it is not.....sticky?


That's amazing. I totally would not have believed that.


The fact that Coke does these wonderful, handy things -- cleans carburetors, toilet gunk, chalkboard walls -- and people still drink it? Fascinating. (Says the exempt from toxic liquid ingestion person who drinks Pepsi. What?)

(We have a raspberry-colored chalkboard wall in the girls' room. It needs to go. Fuck you, chalk dust everywhere that isn't their bedroom.)


Yellow Wallpaper reference! Hooray for lit. nerds! :) :)

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